Safe Routes to School programs encourage students in grades K-8 to walk or ride their bicycle to school. The program helps make it safer for students to walk and bike.
Lorain County Public Health works with schools and school districts to create School Travel Plans (STP) that outline a community’s intentions for enabling students to engage in active transportation (i.e. walking or bicycling) as they travel to and from school.
STPs are created using a team-based approach that involves key community stakeholders and members of the public. Together, we identify barriers to walking and bicycling and find solutions using the 5 Es:
Engineering strategies are often included in STPs, such as sidewalk and street improvements. Students and volunteers may conduct Walk Audits to determine which walking routes in the community need to be improved.
To increase students’ knowledge of bicycling and
To encourage students to practice their walking and biking skills, schools host a Walk to School day. These activities help guide students in healthy and safe walking and bicycling. Often encouragement focuses on building confidence in students.
Enforcement strategies link law enforcement officers with crossing guards and school safety team members for a consistent and comprehensive STP.
Are we making a difference? Evaluation helps us answer that. In fact, Lorain County Public Health, local school districts, and the community-at-large continually track
Just by walking or bicycling to and from school, children can get their daily recommended time of physical activity. Exercise and movement can also improve focus and performance of students in the classroom. This is especially important when there is little time during the school day for physical activity or recess.
Ask your school about Safe Routes to School activities, such as Walk to School Day, sidewalk improvements, or bicycle programming. Creating and maintaining School Travel Plans is a team effort, and plans need to be updated every five years.
Local connection: If your school district needs to create or update a School Travel Plan, Lorain County Public Health can help kick-start the process. Call 440-322-6367 and ask for the Health Promotion division.
The following schools currently have an up-to-date STP: